Hello guys, gals, and ghosts of all types. I’m here to talk to you about another job I worked. This one was in a factory in Omaha, Nebraska called Marianna Beauty, and as the name implies, it sells beauty products. They had everything from wigs to dyes to manicure hands, but only the left ones, there were never any right manicure hands the poor things.
I started this job as a temp. I was contracted out to them through a temp agency called Remedy, and it wasn’t the most glamorous or highest paying job, but it was something. I was 19, at the time, and ready to make it on my own, or so I thought. That’s another story all together, especially since I was a very stupid young adult.
Factory work is not pleasant in a way. It is definitely not clean. There was dirt and dust and grime. I would wash my hands not even 3 hours into my shift and they would soap up gray. It was disgusting in that way, but you know what way it was an amazing thing?
Factories, as a general rule, aren’t all that ventilated either. This means that I was hot in the summer to the point of having heat stroke, and freezing in the winter. It was so much fun! There was however one thing that I loved about my job when I started out.
I worked by myself. I could do whatever I wanted as long as I got my job done.
As for my job I was an order picker for most of my time there. I would get a set of orders for the day and then I’d have to go and collect all the items for it so it could be packed into the appropriate boxes and shipped out to the client.
Where I worked you could call it the “dry goods” side. There was another part of the plant that dealt with making soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, etc. Most of my time was counting combs and collecting scissors, going through different sized perm and hair rollers and the like. I admit that I did have to go get certain “wet goods”, but by then they were all packaged up and ready to go.
I loved getting the orders to go in the way back where all the hair dye was. It was so quiet back there, and no one was around. I could spend hours back there just picking since it was away from the bustle of the packing center where most everything was centered around.
The Automated System
However times do change and things started to shift to a more automated system. Now, instead of having an individual go and pick items they would just be packed as it rolled down the conveyor belt. This presented its own set of problems as it increased efficiency. Keeping the racks that held the goods stocked. We did still have to pick the items to go on the racks, but it was a much larger quantity and it took fewer people to do it.
This meant that there was still human error in picking the wrong product. We did have a few people that still picked orders, but it wasn’t nearly as many as we had before. Then there was the packing. Each client had their own was that they wanted things to be packed. This sometimes led to logistic errors, such as too small of a box to put the product in.
For the first little while of this new system I was behind the racks making sure they were stocked and checking products into the correct slot so the computer would show exactly how many were there. I was eventually moved to the very front of the line.
It became my job to set up boxes and put in manikin heads with hair, luggage, and books into the box. I was also in charge of the timing of said boxes. The belt moved at set intervals. In order to alleviate large orders with many items I would have to change the time. For our most popular order I would have to send it every 1 and a half times the belt moved.
This meant that I was no longer by myself and that people could see me. I was still in my own little bubble for the most part, which I thought was an amazing thing.
A Choice to Make
Part way through my working there the management pulled me aside and told me that they were dropping Remedy and that I would either be relocated or hired on full time. They wanted me there, so I signed on as a full time employee.
So, why do I not work there anymore? The hours. I can burn out very quickly and this was no exception. I was working 12 hour days 5 days a week, and would be expected to come in from 6-12 hours on Saturday. It got to me, I started skipping, since I was not the brightest back then, and eventually got fired for it.
Looking back now I probably wouldn’t have stayed there with them. I was a hard worker, but the work they had me doing was not the greatest. The long hours just about killed me and it just wasn’t a forever job. None of my jobs have been.
I admit that working by myself was glorious with only the occasional hello as I passed by other people in the early days as my only interaction. This was the place where it was truly cemented in my brain how to count in 12’s. I had never needed it before, but most of the things in that warehouse were packaged in 12’s so I definitely learned.
Did you find this post helpful? Can you relate? If you can, then please post a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.